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Marks Plans to Downzone Oakleigh Pet Cemetery

Residential development will still be allowed if the property is sold but the density of housing will be decreased.

, fifth district councilman David Marks announced his intention to decrease the zoning for a neighborhood pet cemetery as a part of the county's quadrennial comprehensive zoning map process (CZMP).

The planned change will allow only 3 houses to be built on the Oakleigh Pet Cemetery property instead of the current 15 that could be built there, regardless of environmental constraints, Marks wrote.

The pet cemetery, located in the 8400 block of Oakleigh Road, has been deteriorating for years leading to thousands of dollars in fines from Baltimore County's government, according to Marks.

In addition to the proposed zoning changes, Marks said that he planned to introduce legislation at an August County Council meeting to protect those people who purchased plots there.

"The Oakleigh Pet Cemetery, like human graveyards, is supposed to be a place of serenity and beauty. I believe we owe it to pet lovers and the surrounding neighborhood to clean up the cemetery and place limitations on future uses," Marks wrote.

Do you live near Oakleigh Pet Cemetery? Do you think this change in zoning would be positive? Share your thoughts on the pet cemetery here in the comments.

DCMerkle July 26, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I don't understand why any houses are being allowed to be built there. If the owners of the Oakleigh Pet Cemetery have been fined then why are they going to be allowed to make a profit on the land? Are they being rewarded for being fined?
Stan Modjesky July 26, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Drive the entire length of German Hill Road from Merritt Boulevard to where it ends at I-95 behind the Baltimore Travel Plaza. You will find numerous burial grounds for humans that are in a state of neglect. As far as that's concerned, many of the active cemeteries and memorial parks around town are not properly kept up. Now that it's routine to use a backhoe to dig graves, many flat markers have been damaged the the weight of these machines. Several places mow the grass between rows of upright tombstones, but never bother with the fine trimming. The sad truth is that if the families whose loved ones are buried in these places don't visit, and don't either insist on better maintenance or perform it themselves, decay is inevitable. Cemetery lots used to be sold with "perpetual care" promises, which cost a few bucks extra at the time of purchase. Unfortunately, that pool of money has proven insufficient to keep up with the vastly increased cost of maintenance.
David Marks July 26, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Every property in Baltimore County generally has a development potential. Open space zoning, which the County Council passed this year, can be applied to some areas, but cemeteries are not among the qualifying properties. The zoning change takes the Oakleigh Pet Cemetery to the lowest possible residential development level, and the legislation says that if the cemetery is sold for development, there is a process for notifying lot owners and treating the lots.
Stan Modjesky July 26, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Oh. So this is merely a change in the development potential of the property, not news of actual impending development there?
Heather Osrien July 26, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Potential and impending mean the same thing in this situation. If you think I'd buy a house in that area on a cemetary lot-pet or otherwise- you are nuts!
Stan Modjesky July 26, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I respectfully disagree, Ms. Osrien. While any bit of land with potential for infill development seems to be up for grabs in this county, nothing in the story implies that's about to happen here. If anything, Councilman Marks' downzoning of this particular spot makes it less attractive to developers. Re your second sentence, when I sold real estate a few decades ago people had this odd notion that a house in which someone had died was somehow tainted/haunted/undesirable. The absurdity of that is that if you buy a house that's over 60 or 70 years old, there's a good probability that someone died there, and an equally good probability that someone was born there.
Bonnie Lantz August 03, 2012 at 06:55 PM
How can I find out who owns the cemetery? My family has a pet there but we live in GA.
Stan Modjesky August 03, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The street address of the property is 8408 Oakleigh Road. This link should lead you to the ownership information from the state's real property tax database: http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/details.aspx?County=04&SearchType=STREET&AccountNumber=09%200919270590
carolyn grove October 02, 2012 at 04:52 PM
what will happen to my pets that are there. i payed thousands of dollars and cant afford to relocate them what can we do thanks countrycats3@yahoo.com
francesfisher50@g mail.com January 16, 2013 at 03:51 PM
I think this is a total outrage .People who paid good money to bury their pets thought they would be there forever.But now forever is nothing as far as I am concerned they stole peoples money they should go to jailour goverment lets them get away with it .What ever happened to for the people .Save our pets final resting place please
Stan Modjesky January 21, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Nothing has ever been "forever." Look at the architectural digs all over the planet where entire cities have been found dozens of yards beneath newer construction. Even human remains are moved to make way for development. Get over it.

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